The row over a four-foot-high fence outside a house next to a chip shop took another twist yesterday when council workmen, armed with power tools, dissembled the structure.
Their move came just 24 hours after a man was arrested for firing a shot at the couple as they worked on the new fence.
But it is unlikely to be the last word on the matter. Last night, furious house owner Christine Williams, 50, said her husband Stephen, 57, would be ‘putting it right back up’ today as she insisted they were within their rights according to the deeds of their home.
Christine and Stephen Williams, pictured, erected a wooden fence outside their home in Alnwick, Northumbria to prevent people queuing up for the chip shop next door from peering into their living room
The couple erected the fence, pictured, to control crowds from standing outside their home.
Mr Williams erected the fence although the local council sent around some workers to take down the barrier - pictured on Google Street View before work took place
Some locals have complained that the fence has blocked access to the pavement and could be a danger to the safety of children walking to school
The dispute had been brewing ever since 2019 when Mr and Mrs Williams decided to change careers and close the sweet shop they had run next to the chippy in Alnwick, Northumberland.
Instead of living in an annexe to the side of the store, they converted the shop, which sits flush to the pavement, into their living room.
But neighbourly relations deteriorated during the Covid crisis when the chip shop owner marked out spaces for customers to wait outside which took them past the Williams’ front window.
Mrs Williams said: ‘My husband went outside and washed off the marks. There was no need for it. They could easily have queued the other way which leads directly to the chip shop’s large car park.
‘The fence is simply there to mark our boundary which extends from the front of the shop onto the pavement.’
The couple say their property deeds prove the land belongs to them and say this was acknowledged by Northumberland County Council in 2017.
As part of the row, a man fired an air pistol towards the Williams' home on Thursday. A 34-year-old man was arrested and is helping police with their enquiries
Back then the Williams’ had successfully stopped a broadband company from digging up the pavement in front of their property and in a letter dated October 19 their Infrastructure Records Manager had stated: ‘I can confirm that the Council will accept no future responsibility or liability for the